Reason Not To Retire Overseas #1: "I can't afford it."
Your nest egg has been marginalized in recent years, and
you're thinking there's no way at this point that you can
afford to entertain these notions of living or retiring in a
Here's the truth: You can't afford not to. I mean this both
literally and figuratively.
You could take my advice and launch a more comfortable, more
interesting, safe, pleasant, even adventure-filled life in a
number of places around the world that I introduce to you in
these dispatches on a budget of as little as US$1,200 per
month or less. In some parts of Panama, Colombia, Thailand,
Nicaragua, Malaysia, and Ecuador, for example, you could
live comfortably on a budget of less than US$1,000 per
month. I'd be surprised if you can't afford that.
But here's the real point: You owe it to yourself to go find
out for yourself just how affordable and, more important,
just how fun and adventure-filled a new life in a new
country can be. I say again that, cost of living aside, you
can't afford not to do this.
Reason Not To Retire Overseas #2: "It's not the right
There is no right time.
Sure, it'd be easier to stay put and do nothing. But where
would that leave you at the end of your days? What stories
would you have to tell? What adventures to remember?
Years ago, I met a gentleman from Tennessee who explained
that he had been researching the idea of retiring to the
Dominican Republic for two years. "I'm convinced the DR is a
place I want to be," he told me, "but I'm just not sure the
timing is right..."
"Have you considered other options?" I asked.
"Well, before I started looking closely at the Dominican
Republic, I researched Costa Rica for four years."
"What did you end up doing there?"
"Oh, I never did anything. After four years of looking,
prices had risen so high that I figured it no longer made
"Ready, fire, aim," I say. You can plan to reinvent your
life in retirement overseas...or you can launch a new life
overseas and then make some plans.
Reason Not To Retire Overseas #3: "I don't want to leave
my home and family for good."
So don't. The real beauty of reinventing your life in a new
country today is that it is an infinitely customizable idea.
Keep your home in the States if you want and spend part of
your time, as your comfort level allows, somewhere exotic
and sunny. Establish a second base somewhere foreign...or
try out a different overseas locale each year. Come and go
as you like, as often as you like, knowing that you've
always got a safety net "back home." There is no right or
wrong strategy for how to retire overseas.
Reason Not To Retire Overseas #4: "I need to earn a
In today's world, with a little imagination and
self-confidence, you can earn a living anywhere. In fact, it
can be easier today for an American to earn an independent
living in a foreign country than in the United States,
because you have knowledge, experience, skills, and
connections that the locals don't.
Reason Not To Retire Overseas #5: "I don't have enough
capital to make an international move like this."
You need precious little. In my "52
Days Course," I walk my retire-overseas students through
a getting-started budget. Take my word for it: If you want
to do this, you can pull together the capital you need to
make it happen...because, seriously, you don't need a lot.
Reason Not To Retire Overseas #6: "I don't speak the
I'm not a linguist. And I understand--it gets harder to
learn a language as you get older. That's why you're lucky.
You speak English, and English is the world's language.
Across much of this planet, anyone who is anyone (that is,
anyone you might want to communicate or do business with),
as well as any school kid, speaks English.
That said, it's worth noting that learning a new language is
one of the best ways to keep your brain limber as you age.
Reason Not To Retire Overseas #7: "I'm too old."
Are you dead? If not, then you're not too old.
Yes, it's easier and might seem more sensible to take a seat
on the front porch and await the arrival of the Grim Reaper.
Or maybe your life is already so exciting and wonderful that
you can't handle a little change?
If that's not the case, then I'd recommend that you take a
cue from my friend Jules, who, at the age of 88 made a plan
and then made a move from Florida to Belize. Even after a
lifetime of adventure, traveling the world with the U.S.
Navy, Jules was up for another change and a new start.
Reason Not To Retire Overseas #8: "I'm too young."
As I said, in today's world, if you've got a laptop and an
Internet connection, you can earn an income anywhere...and
concern over making a living is the only objection I can
imagine someone younger than retirement age could possibly
suggest for why he (or she) isn't jumping at a the idea of
launching a new life in some sunny, sexy foreign locale.
I promise you that, no matter how old you are right now, if
you make this move, you won't regret a day that follows. If
you don't, eventually, you'll grow to regret every day of
adventure that you've missed.
Reason Not To Retire Overseas #9: "I've got to wait for
my children to finish their schooling."
Why? Speaking as a mom who has spent the last 14 years
raising two children (the second, my son, born in Ireland)
across four countries, I can tell you with confidence that a
life abroad is one of the greatest gifts you can give your
kids. They might object at first (my daughter, born in
Baltimore, cried her way through our entire first year
living overseas, in Waterford, Ireland), but, in time,
they'll grow to love the life and to appreciate the effort
you've made providing it for them. Stay put "for the sake of
the kids," and, when they're grown and discover what they
missed out on, they won't forgive you.